The 20th century was a century of many human tragedies - the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and the Rwandan Genocide. Today, we will look at another human tragedy. We will study a genocide in which millions of men, women and children died seventy-five years ago, specifically because of the Famine/Genocide in Ukraine. This event is also known as “The Holodomor” - meaning “death inflicted by starvation”.

In the past, few documents and materials were available for scholars to study the Ukrainian Famine/Genocide. Today, there is a wealth of research on the tragic events that transpired in Ukraine in the early 1930’s. Major changes in understanding the tragedy, its far-reaching consequences and historical significance have taken place in the last few years. This change may be explained by the gradual accessibility of documents revealing the activity of the top Soviet leadership in the 1930’s in Ukraine and the conduct of regional leaders in the Ukrainian SSR.

The materials before you were prepared by Valentina Kuryliw, Department Head of History and Social Studies with the TDSB (retired) and a history teacher of 35 years. As a curriculum writer and author, she has been prepared lesson plans using critical thinking skills for high school students.

The enclosed materials contain lesson plans for teachers to use with students. Some lessons are suggested for the grade 10 level Civics course on Human Rights Abuse, others, requiring more advanced critical thinking skills, for senior history, geography and social studies students.

In addition, there are number of articles, write ups, and current academic work for teacher and student perusal. In all cases, there are links to other teaching materials available on the subject of “The Holodomor” on the internet for teacher use. A comprehensive bibliography and resource list is also included.

For your convenience, enclosed you will find a DVD, “Harvest of Despair”, a CD, “Holodomor: Survivors”, booklet, “Holodomor: Ukrainian Genocide in the Early 1930s.”, pamphlets, plus, 2 books - “A Hunger Most Cruel” (short stories) and “Famine-Genocide in Ukraine 1932-1933: Western archives, testimonies and new research”. Kindly deliver these books to your school library for student use.


Valentina Kuryliw